Product Review: Traction Jack
By Kyle Renzelman | April 29, 2016 3:00 pm
As a part of the team at Offroad Trail Guide, I have been committed to helping offroad enthusiasts find adventure. What happens when that adventure gets into a sticky situation? Self-recovery is an invaluable skill-set and you’re going to need the right gear to help get you out. Recently I had the opportunity to test a newer product to the self-recovery market, Traction Jack.
Traction Jack are recovery traction boards similar to other products on the market, except they have one major difference. They fold in the middle. That allows them to be more compact than the competitors (25.5 inches) when not in use and longer (51 inches) when opened up.
The compact design means you don’t have to mount them outside the vehicle, making them perfect for more than just offroad. You can toss them in the trunk of your car on snowy days or a day at the beach.
I found the construction to be high quality and was surprised to find out that they are Made in the USA. As with all traction boards, Traction Jack notes right on the board not to spin tires. The spikes are designed to melt away in the event of tire spin to protect the tire. They have a 1 year replacement warranty. That means if you take them out and happen to break them, Traction Jack will replace it once for free. Also, since they are a two-piece construction, if one of the sides needs to be replaced for any reason after the free replacement, you can order just the side you need. That sure beats having to buy a whole new set.
The fold on the Traction Jack proves beneficial in recovery situations. First, it keeps the board from standing up and contacting the body of the vehicle. That may not be as much concern for a lifted offroad rig, but for a low-clearance car it’s a nice feature. Another benefit is that you can prop the side away from the tire against the ground in order to force better contact between the tire and the board. That means the tire can grip the board quicker and get you out more efficiently. It also reduced the risk of the board falling over during recovery and slowing efforts.
As with any traction board, you’re going to need to extract it when done. The Traction Jack comes with leashes. We found it to be easier to remove from the ground after use than other leading competitors.
Another useful trick due to the design of the Traction Jack is they can be used as a soft-ground base for a hi-lift jack. Since the footprint is so much larger than that of the actual hi-light base, it can provide even more stability.
During our test session in Logandale, NV, several other offroaders joined in. All of the comments were extremely positive from the group. I heard “Impressive,” “That is a great design,” and even a “Badass!” was thrown in there. Some of the people in the test had never used a traction board before, and others were already owners of other brands. At the end of the day I was amazed at how well received the Traction Jacks were. There wasn’t a negative comment in the group.
The final work: Traction Jacks are a Made in the USA product, that does exactly what you need it to do and then some. For more information you can always visit the Traction Jack website, www.tractionjack.com.